The Quotable Thanissaro

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
danieLion
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:10 am

Reverend Thanissaro wrote:And the word is goodwill. There’s another word in Pāli, pema, which means “love.” But the Buddha’s not talking about universal love, it’s universal goodwill; because love, as the pointed out is--unreliable. There are bound to be people you love and people you don’t love, and he often talks about how sometimes hatred can be based on love. In other words, when someone does something really bad to people you love, then it’s hard to love that person. Goodwill, however, is more of an attitude; less of an emotion and more of an attitude.
-Profound Goodwill: October 21, 2012 (2:11 to 2:31/-10:55 to -10:25)

danieLion
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by danieLion » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:13 am

Reverend Thanissaro wrote:If you think about people at work who’ve been unfair to you, and you’re all worked up about that, well, try to remind yourself this is the human condition. The Buddha gives lots of ways of counteracting ill-will. The Buddha said this is normal in the human realm; if you want to live in a place where everyone is fair you’re in the wrong place. And you’re not the only one that’s been the victim of unfair treatment. So you decide not to get worked up about it. Not that you become a doormat for other beings, but for the time being, at least, let those thoughts ]go..
-Right Resolve, Right Concentration: September 1, 2012 (6:14 to 7:04/-6:30 to -5:48).

dhammapal
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:24 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:And equanimity, too, is something you have to will — the ability to stay unperturbed with the things you like and the things you don't like; not getting excited when things go well, not getting depressed when they don't. In other words, you train yourself to have a certain amount of independence. Discernment is needed to perfect and understand this quality, and the equanimity helps foster the discernment, allowing you to see things more clearly, as well. The two qualities go hand-in-hand.

There are times in the meditation where you do simply have to sit and watch. Some of your defilements really will go away just when you watch them — but not all of them. One of the points of developing equanimity is so you begin to see where the difference lies.

So the Buddha is not recommending a blanket passivity here. He's telling you to develop equanimity when it's appropriate. You develop equanimity when you need to see things that you don't yet understand. When you understand, sometimes equanimity is still appropriate, and sometimes you need to do something more forceful to deal with the problem at hand.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... alks_3.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
From: The Will to Awaken by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
With metta / dhammapal.

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:40 am

"Buddhism doesn’t teach heartlessness. It starts out with goodwill. Look at the path: It’s a way of working for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you, a way of putting an end to suffering. That’s goodwill put into action in spades. The teaching on equanimity is meant to make sure that your goodwill doesn’t run off the road, doesn’t burn out, doesn’t waste time getting lost in unskillful byways." - Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:30 am

"You all know the old image of the Buddha as a doctor and the Dhamma as
medicine. When you come to practice the Dhamma, it’s as if you’re learning to be
your own doctor, looking after the illnesses of your own mind. Everyone comes up
here wounded in one way or another, suffering either from things outside or from
things inside.

At the time of the Buddha people were suffering from greed, anger,
and delusion just as we are. With modern culture, modern society, it seems as if
we have more diseases of the mind, more complex ways of getting involved in
creating delusion, but they all basically come down to the same three roots."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Anagarika
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Anagarika » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:51 am

At the moment, I can't add a particular excellent Ven. Thanissaro quote. I will offer this: I had the privilege to visit Wat Metta outside San Diego a time or two. On my first visit, I spoke with Ven. Thanissaro very briefly, as I had spent some time in Thailand, and greeted him initially in Thai. In any case, he presents as a combination of university dean, scholar/monk, and strict parent to the young monks and novices in his sangha. He's pleasant, but serious. The word "gravitas" comes to mind...this man defines gravitas. ("Gravitas was one of the Roman virtues, along with pietas, dignitas and virtus. It may be translated variously as weight, seriousness and dignity, also importance, and connotes a certain substance or depth of personality.")

Over time, as I hung out with some of the younger Bhikkhus (that's a story in an of itself...what an excellent group of young men), I felt as though Ven. Thanissaro opened up a bit, and listened in on our conversations about Dhamma, and even a discussion about Dhamma as it is discussed on this site. Again, gravitas. He's just such a compelling person to be around.

In any case, I was just one of many visitors to Wat Metta, and he was busy with other matters. People come and go to Wat Metta. A bit later in the day, after I had observed him with his serious demeanor, and his scholarly approach to discussing matters of interest, I went into the Sala to sit and do prostrations. There was Ajaan Thanissaro, sitting on the floor with some of the Thai folk from around San Diego that came to Wat Metta to help assemble a Thai calendar. Sitting with the Thai members of the community, he seemed a different man...smiling broadly, speaking in Thai, and joyfully helping assemble the calendars. I understood that this great man, this man of such scholarship, such gravitas, such merit, was happiest sitting with his beloved Thai people. I left Wat Metta that day believing him to be one of the most interesting and outstanding people I've ever met.

I also left that day with huge box of his books...a gift from Ven. Thanissaro to my farang Bhikkhu friends and their English Dhamma book library at Wat Sri Boen Ruang in Chiang Mai. Every book that he publishes, every single book, is freely given. http://www.watmetta.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:22 am

Nice recollections. Thanks.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

dhammapal
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Dhamma not without Economic Value just taught for no reward

Post by dhammapal » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:37 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:The Buddha said at one point one of the ideal features of a Dharma teacher is not to expect material reward for the teaching. He never said that the Dharma is priceless. That's another misinformed phrase you hear a lot in dana talks. What he did say was that the teacher should not expect material reward. In other words, the teaching of Dharma should be a gift. When it's given as a gift, people receive it as a gift.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... alks_3.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
From: The Freedom to Give by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
With metta / dhammapal.

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:02 am

"Some people complain about the Buddha’s teachings on past lives and future lives, that
they’re a distraction from the present, but when he talks about past lives and
future lives he keeps coming down to the principle of kamma: that all the past,
all the future—everything—is shaped by your choices.

Okay, what choices are you responsible for right now? The ones in the present moment. He gives you
the teachings on what shapes the past and future in order to bring you back to
the present with an even greater sense of its importance."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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piotr
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by piotr » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:34 pm

Hi,
danieLion wrote:
Kusala wrote:As he [the Buddha as paraphrased by Rev. Thanissaro] said, if you define yourself, you limit yourself.
One of my favorite Thanissaro sayings. The Buddha didn't actually say that, though, right? Which sources do you suppose the Reverend is pharaphrasing?
He's refering to Bhikkhu Sutta (SN 22.36) where the Buddha said:
  • Monk, whatever one stays obsessed with, that's what one is measured by (or: limited to). Whatever one is measured by, that's how one is classified. Whatever one doesn't stay obsessed with, that's not what one is measured by. Whatever one isn't measured by, that's not how one is classified.
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

danieLion
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by danieLion » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:13 am

piotr wrote:Hi,
danieLion wrote:
Kusala wrote:As he [the Buddha as paraphrased by Rev. Thanissaro] said, if you define yourself, you limit yourself.
One of my favorite Thanissaro sayings. The Buddha didn't actually say that, though, right? Which sources do you suppose the Reverend is pharaphrasing?
He's refering to Bhikkhu Sutta (SN 22.36) where the Buddha said:
  • Monk, whatever one stays obsessed with, that's what one is measured by (or: limited to). Whatever one is measured by, that's how one is classified. Whatever one doesn't stay obsessed with, that's not what one is measured by. Whatever one isn't measured by, that's not how one is classified.
Thanks piotr

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Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:46 pm

"The practice of the Buddha’s teaching can been called the serious pursuit of
true happiness, with the emphasis on the serious and the true. Serious not in the
sense of grim but in the sense of sincere, unwilling to settle for anything less than
genuine.

True here means a happiness that doesn’t change, a happiness that
doesn’t let you down. This is why so many of the Buddha’s teachings focus on suffering,
because most of the happiness—or the things that we take for happiness
in daily life—really do end up causing suffering as they change. So many times the
happiness we gain turns into something else."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

User avatar
Kusala
Posts: 762
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:02 am

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:21 am

"Throughout its history, Buddhism has worked as a civilizing force. Its teachings on karma, for instance — the principle that all intentional actions have consequences — have taught morality and compassion to many societies. But on a deeper level, Buddhism has always straddled the line between civilization and wilderness. The Buddha himself gained Awakening in a forest, gave his first sermon in a forest, and passed away in a forest.

The qualities of mind he needed in order to survive physically and mentally as he went, unarmed, into the wilds, were key to his discovery of the Dhamma. They included resilience, resolve, and alertness; self-honesty and circumspection; steadfastness in the face of loneliness; courage and ingenuity in the face of external dangers; compassion and respect for the other inhabitants of the forest. These qualities formed the "home culture" of the Dhamma."
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

User avatar
Kusala
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Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by Kusala » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:26 am

"One of Ajaan Mun’s favorite topics for a Dhamma talk was the theme of practicing the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma—in other words, in accordance with what the Dhamma demands, not in accordance with what our likes and dislikes demand.

As the Dhamma comes to the West this is probably one of the hardest things for Westerners to appreciate. Everywhere you look, the Dhamma is being remade, recast, so that people will like it. Things that people don’t like are quietly cut away; and if things that people like are missing, they’re added on. And so the creature that comes out is like the old cartoon of a committee designing a bird: The bird looks pretty good to begin with, but then after the committee’s done with it, it looks like an ostrich with no legs. It can’t walk and it can’t fly, but it sells. In this country of ours, where democracy and the marketplace are all-powerful, the question of what sells determines what’s Dhamma, even if it can’t walk or fly. And who loses out? We lose out.

The Dhamma doesn’t lose out; it’s always what it is. But we like to add a little here, take away a little there, and as a result we end up with nothing but things we already like and already dislike. The Buddha pointed out the four ways that people get led off course. Two of them are following your likes and dislikes; the other two are giving in to delusion and fear. These things pull people off the path. We go wandering into the underbrush and then off to who-knows-where simply because we like to follow what we like and to avoid what we dislike—even though the things we dislike are often the things we’ve got to really look at carefully."

- Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

dhammapal
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: The Quotable Thanissaro

Post by dhammapal » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:06 am

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:If you want to strengthen a muscle, you need to know where it is and what it moves if you're going to understand the exercises that target it. Only then can you perform them efficiently. In the same way, you have to understand the anatomy of the mind's suffering if you want to understand how meditation is supposed to work. Read up on what the Buddha had to say on the topic, and don't settle for books that put you at the far end of a game of telephone. Go straight to the source. You'll find, for instance, that the Buddha explained how ignorance shapes the way you breathe, and how that in turn can add to your suffering. This is why most meditation regimens start with the breath, and why the Buddha's own regimen takes the breath all the way to nirvana. So read up to understand how and why.
From: Strength Training for the Mind by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
With metta / dhammapal.

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